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Lo-Ellen's Ashlyn Low defends city badminton championship title

By: Randy Pascal – Playback

 | Apr 08, 2014 - 10:43 AM |
Some shuffling of categories created a very different dynamic for the 2014 SDSSAA Badminton Championships as play wrapped up Saturday at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School.

Some shuffling of categories created a very different dynamic for the 2014 SDSSAA Badminton Championships as play wrapped up Saturday at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School.

Some shuffling of categories created a very different dynamic for the 2014 SDSSAA Badminton Championships as play wrapped up Saturday at St. Benedict Catholic Secondary School.

One area of stability was the senior ladies singles event, as Ashlyn Low of Lo-Ellen defended her title, knocking off 2013 junior champion Michelle Koslowskyj of Sacré-Coeur.

Last year's senior men's champion, Williem Agnihotri of St. Benedict, opted to make the move to mixed doubles, teaming with Emma Lee Barbeau to defeat the Griffons' tandem of Kroft and Spinotti in the final.

Placing second one year ago in the men's singles class, Lively's Michael Kaufman hooked up with J.J. Gaudin in taking home gold in the senior men's doubles competition this year, besting the St. Charles duo of Barber and Chezzi.

With the field suddenly wide open in the men's singles division, 2013 junior champion Alex Rheault filled the void, beating Phil Villeneuve of Lockerby in the final. Villeneuve had combined forces with Jacob Willis-Harapiak last spring in capturing the men's doubles crown.

Finally, the women's doubles banner was claimed by Bouhedda and Betts of Lasalle, slipping past Lianne Girard and Mélanie Pitre of Horizon in the end.

Things were much more settled in the junior age grouping as no less than four of the five champions this year were also winners one year ago in the midget division. Sebastien Stefankow (ESMC - men's singles), Bryanne Rheault (CND - girls singles), Sophie Paquette/Sereena Brunelle (ESMC - girls doubles) and Stephanie Arsenault/Matt Fragomeni (Lasalle - mixed doubles) all made the jump up one level with very few hiccups.

For Stefankow, the addition of badminton club training these past two years has moved his game forward in leaps and bounds, allowing the multi-sport athlete to also claim a berth at the 2014 Ontario Winter Games.

"My net game and my overall stamina are much better," said Stefankow. "I actually have a net down in my basement that I set up across, and my dad and I just practise. They feed birds and I hit them across the net."

Mixing in several tournaments in southern Ontario with the provincial competition last month has left Stefankow feeling confident about his ability to also repeat at the NOSSA event later this week.

"We train all year and go to all of these tournaments," said Stefankow. "It was a lot of fun with the Winter Games, but a lot of hard competition, especially with the kids from Toronto."

"I played a lot of games and won a match," he said. "It was a good experience." The only changeover in the junior division came in the boys doubles pool as Bryce Rundle and Ward Kyle of Lockerby claimed gold.

Following is a full listing of the top two finishers in each of the 15 categories who will now travel to Sault Ste. Marie on Friday, site of the NOSSA Badminton Championships. Athletes will then have a break, with the OFSAA competition slated for Markham from May 1-3:

Senior Division
Men's Singles
Alex Rheault (Notre-Dame)
Phil Villeneuve (Lockerby)

Ladies Singles
Ashlyn Low (Lo-Ellen)
Michelle Koslowskyj (Sacré-Coeur)

Men's Doubles
Kaufman/Gaudin (Lively)
Barber/Chezzi (St Charles)

Ladies Doubles
Bouhedda/Betts (Lasalle)
Girard/Pitre (Horizon)

Mixed Doubles
Agnihotri/Barbeau (St Benedict)
Kroft/Spinotti (Sacré-Coeur)

Junior Division
Men's Singles
Sebastien Stefankow (ESMC)
Nick Hillman (Horizon)

Ladies Doubles
Bryanne Rheault (Notre-Dame)
Gabrielle Nellis (ESMC)

Men's Doubles
Rundle/Kyle (Lockerby)
Huot/Lebreton (Sacré-Coeur)

Ladies Doubles
Paquette/Brunelle (ESMC)
Boudreau/Coulombe (Horizon)

Mixed Doubles
Fragomeni/Arsenault (Lasalle)
Summer/Blackwell (Lockerby)

Midget Division
Men's Singles
Justin Levert (Sacré-Coeur)
Tyler Coutu (ESMC)

Ladies Doubles
Lina Audet (ESMC)
Destiny Miller (Lasalle)

Men's Doubles
Pangowish/Wisniewski (Lockerby)
Lamontagne/Ducharme (Sacré-Coeur)

Ladies Doubles
Paquette/Prévost (Notre-Dame)
Vanier/Guse (Champlain)

Mixed Doubles
Kelly/Schneider (Lockerby)
Arseneault/Short (Lasalle)

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